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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-04-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Demetris Droutsas has reassured that Greece stands by the side of the Republic of Cyprus and the people of Cyprus in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking on Friday, after a meeting in Nicosia with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias at the Presidential Palace, Droutsas said that they discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

    I will reiterate the obvious, that Greece always stands and will continue to stand by the side of the Republic of Cyprus, by the side of the people of Cyprus, he said.

    We strongly support the responsible efforts of Cypriot President Demetris Christofias. Efforts for a solution to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the UN decisions and in line with the acquis communautaire, for a united and free from Turkish troops Cyprus, he said, stressing that the continuation of the presence of Turkish troops in the island is shameful.

    The Greek Minister expressed concern over the efforts of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to abandon the agreed basis of the direct negotiations. I think there is no excuse for that and Eroglu should proceed to the negotiations with constructive positions, and to convince us that he really wishes a solution. Turkey should do the same, he added.

    Referring to the latest developments in Libya and the demand of the international community for respect of UN resolutions, Droutsas reminded that there are UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus as well. He stressed that Turkey, above all, and the international community should respect those resolutions.

    Droutsas, who is paying a visit to Cyprus at the invitation of Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou, in order to participate in an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of Mediterranean countries, also discussed the latest developments in North Africa and Syria with President Christofias.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement to reunite the country.


    The crisis in the Middle East and the situation in Syria in particular are the focus of an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of Mediterranean countries, currently underway in Limassol, on the south coast, at the initiative of the Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou.

    The meeting is attended by the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Malta, Israel and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Bulgaria.

    In statements to the press on the sidelines of the meeting, Kyprianou said that there is no formal agenda and participants exchange views and brief each other on various aspects of regional developments, without keeping minutes.

    He noted that the objective is to have a clear picture of the situation in the region and not to arrive at any concrete decisions.

    ``It is useful and necessary to have the views of Israel too, a country located in the middle of the region and inevitably will be affected by any developments,`` he added.

    Kyprianou said that it was decided to continue this kind of meeting, describing as very useful the fact that a small group of countries - with the Mediterranean as their common denominator - are able to meet and exchange views.

    He also said that all parties to the meeting had expressed their intention to host the next meetings.

    Asked if they discussed the agreement between Hamas and Fatah and the decision of Egypt to open its border with the Gaza Strip, Kyprianou said that they had not focused on these issues, adding that Israeli Foreign Minister in statements he made yesterday expressed reservations about the cooperation between Hamas and Fatah ``because Hamas has not accepted the Quartet`s conditions``.

    ``We have not yet seen the details of the agreement. The issue that comes up is whether the government of national unity to be formed in Palestine will accept the Quartet`s conditions. This is Israel`s reservation, ``he said.

    Replying to questions, the Minister said they did not discuss cooperation in the energy sector, adding that ``today we focused on issues of political developments in our region``

    He went on to say that they discussed the consequences of immigration because of the situation in the Mediterranean region.

    He expressed concern over the possibility of an influx of refugees from Syria and assured that the Foreign Ministry is already considering various plans on how to react in the case of a crisis in Syria

    Kyprianou said that the situation in Syria is being handled by the EU, adding that ``we have an open dialogue with Syria, we have a special relationship with Syria and I believe that I convey the positions and views of EU in a more convincing and more honest manner``.

    Replying to a question, he said that Israel is concerned about the situation in the region and not only the situation in Syria. ``The issue of Syria is of Cyprus`s concern too and one of the issues which was the focus of our discussions,`` he added.

    Asked whether there is a common policy on how to address the immigration issue, he said that this issue is handled by the responsible EU ministers, noting that there should be peace, stability and economic development in the countries where waves of immigration come from in order to tackle this problem.

    ``The root of the problem should be addressed and the EU itself will have to implement an immigration policy to address the problem and provide support to the countries which receive these migratory pressures,`` he concluded.


    Cypriot genetic experts praised on Friday the importance of DNA research in disease diagnosis and treatment.

    ``DNA research offers many promising prospects in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases,`` Philippos Patsalis, Chief Executive Medical Director of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, said at a press conference here today to present the Institute`s work on the occasion of the World DNA day, celebrated on April 25.

    Referring to the achievements of the Institute, Patsalis recalled a publication of the Cytogenetics and Genomics Department, which he heads, on a pioneering worldwide Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis for Down syndrome, which constitutes ``a milestone in prenatal diagnosis.``

    He said that the Institute has the biggest infrastructure in the region and enjoys international recognition in the field of genetics.

    Furthermore, the President of the Institute`s Molecular Genetics, Function & Therapy department Leonidas Phylactou said that his department staff has traced unique errors in genes which are responsible for hereditary diabetes, without elaborating on the matter as the results of the research have not been officially published.

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